Carolyn Hembree's individual poems have appeared in Colorado Review, DIAGRAM, Gulf Coast, and Verse Daily among other journals and anthologies. Her Rigging a Chevy into a Time Machine & Other Ways to Escape a Plague was a finalist for the 2012 Tupelo Press' and Switchback Books' manuscript competitions. Hembree grew up in Tennessee and Alabama. She teaches at the University of New Orleans and serves as Poetry Editor of Bayou Magazine.
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The title character of Skinny leaves the South and a beloved, dying matriarch for New York City, a "far-off island dream." Through an expansive dramatis personae, the poems offer polyphonic responses to harrowing encounters. Here is a life at once immediate and recognizable yet imbued with nostalgia: silent film intertitles, biplane transmissions, the broken Welsh of ancestors. This collection incorporates ekphrastic works, prose poems, dramatic monologues, odes, elegies, a pastoral, and a word problem, among other free verse experiments. Despite familiar allusions and forms, the work is otherworldly—regionalisms of the Deep South combine with the idiolect of a very particular family to form a singular grammar as fractured as the landscape it describes.
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